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Shanghai, Bejing or Hong Kong?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by photoframe, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Okay so I have an interview for a group of schools who have schools in various cities including HKG, Shanghai and Bejing. I was just wondering what the most up to date advice on these cities would be in terms of salaries and lifestyles. There is a bit on here about the schools I'm interviewing with, but there's nothing since 2008... so I'm thinking threads have been deleted.
  2. lennoc

    lennoc New commenter

    They are all relatively expensive (in terms of China) but you'll get a lot more for your money when it comes to accomodation in Beijing and Shanghai. Oh the other hand HK is much better for cheap flights all over the place and it is easier to pop to SEA for a short break from there.
    I worked in a school for 4 years in Beijing that was part of an organisation run out of HK. Not sure if it is the same one but if you want to pm me the details I can give you more information if it was. Don't want to even allude to the name on here as threads seem to be disappearing a lot.
    I've never lived in HK (although I love the feel of the city) but spent a year in Shanghai and 4 in Beijing. I really enjoyed both although I found Shanghai much easier to like in the short term (ie it took me a year of living there before I really started to like Beijing).
  3. Thank you! You have mail :)
  4. vickyrae1970

    vickyrae1970 New commenter

    this is no attempt to put you off , but having just been deported from china because of problems with my visa - make sure when you do go , your visa is right .
  5. That's terrible! How do you know your visa is right?!
  6. vickyrae1970

    vickyrae1970 New commenter

    i have no idea - i think they smelt a fish as i went in on a tourist visa and my employer was going to get it converted ; they were very unclear about why i was being sent back . all i can say is - make sure all of this is done before leaving . it was an unpleasant experience from beginning to end .
    i had already left one job abroad because of the work conditions and this was a second opportunity , so you can imagine i am gutted . i am back in blighty and looking for supply - just hope my last british school with give me references again .
    all i would say , is make sure everything is written in stone , question everything and be 100 percent certain , ask to speak to people from the school , do some background reading on the area and most importantly , have a back up plan .
  7. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I'm very far from being an expert on this part of the world. But for me Hong Kong would win hands down for two reasons. Firstly, the other two cities suffer severe pollution, and secondly, I gather a high percentage of Hong Kong residents speak English.

    I've put a few applications in for Hong Kong, but heard nothing - probably because it's an extremely popular location, with very stiff competition.
  8. Hong Kong's not without its pollution problems too: I couldn't believe how far the view from my apartment went when the equestrian Olympic events were held in HK and the air cleared a bit.
    That said, it would be Hong Kong for me every time, fantastic place!
  9. lennoc

    lennoc New commenter

    Pollution in HK can be horrific. It is right beside the Pearl River Delta which is a huge industrial/manufacturing area on the mainland.
    Bummer about the visa issues. Unfortunately there are a LOT of dodgy schools in China, many of them calling themselves international. A legit school would have sorted the visa before you went there.
  10. I'd like to speak up for Shanghai. The pollution in the city is nowhere near as bad as it was pre-Olympics and Expo and hasn't caused me any problems since I've been here. Shanghai has all the amenities that you'd find in HK and is a good place to bring up kids. Prices are going up, although rents are relatively stable and it's still easy to save a lot of money here.
    As for the salary, I've seen a recent copy of the compensation package of the school you're alluding to and the deal looks pretty good for the city's international schools.
  11. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    As odd as this sounds, I have to speak up for Beijing. We have been here since August and have had more blue sky or near normal days than hazy days. During our recent very longgggg holiday break, we had blue skies and cold clear days every single day (and we have yet to get any snow this winter).
    Is there an unseen impact from the pollution? I'm sure there is, but it is just not the oppressive, negative, quality of life reducing force that we had feared.

    Don't rule out applying for a great job in Beijing based on pollution alone. There are also great schools, a high quality of life for westerners (e.g. western products, great restaurants, cultural sights, relatively low cost of living) and many travel opportunities to be had. Oh, and strangely enough, language is also not a great hardship. You can go weeks with running into any major hardship due to language. It is helpful to learn your greetings, taxi Chinese and the name of where you live/work in Chinese, but you should do those things anyway!

  12. Thanks everyone for your help! What about a salary of 262,254HKD + 9,000HKD per month housing allowance. Pretty low in my calculations, any thoughts?
  13. That's lower than the HK $361,500 per year and 8,000 or so per month that is base for ESF schools. I did start a thread hoping for some advice on if this enough to support my family of four. I have my doubts. If you're single then it could be worth it. What say people?
  14. Photoframe, are you looking for Primary, Secondary or Kindie posts?
  15. I'm applying for primary posts...
  16. Have pm'ed ya photoframe.
  17. You have mail.
  18. Okay... so I started a new thread, but they pulled it! Arrggghhh!
    Anyway, so I got an offer for before mentioned schools run out of HKG. My offer is for their Shanghai Puxi campus in Primary.
    1) I've been offered 27,500 RMB per month plus the usuals. I think that this salary is pretty decent... I've seen what the Dull school would've paid me and it's less than this!
    2) Does anyone have any post 2008 experience at this school when the tyrannical management left? There is loads of stuff up to 2008 (***), but no one has said a thing since! Which leads me to believe it's improved dramatically.
    3) I read somewhere that you can't change RMB into foreign currency... seems bizarre to me, anyone willing to squash this rumour?

  19. You can change $50,000 worth of RMB per year. The salary you have been offered is probably OK as long as you get accomodation.
  20. Hi photoframe, the rumour about not being able to change rmb into foreign currency is nonsense, as I have been able to exchange my rmb dozens of times (albeit within China) into other foreign currencies. And I have been able to send rmb into GBP to my UK bank account without too much difficulty either.

    I suspect that you have been offered a job at the same organisation I work for. I am also Shanghai based and would be happy to give you some tips about settling in and advice on life in Shanghai if you want? Just pm me!


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